Arviat woman asks for prayers for husband on ventilator in Winnipeg
“Please pray” for COVID-19 patient Luki Sammurtok, wife Diane says
Nunavut residents are responding to a call for prayers for an Arviat man with COVID-19 who is hooked up to a ventilator in a Winnipeg hospital.
“Please pray for my husband Luki Sammurtok. He is in ICU with breathing tube in Winnipeg … he got COVID-19,” said Diane Sammurtok, who has been reaching out for support on the Revelation of Heaven Facebook page.
“Please keep my husband in your prayers. I love my husband.”
Her posts have received hundreds of likes and comments.
Luki Sammurtok, an Arviat man, was medevaced south Dec. 3, and was on a ventilator in a Winnipeg hospital, his wife said on Facebook.
Reached by Nunatsiaq News at home Monday, Diane Sammurtok said she didn’t want to talk for long because she hadn’t received an update yet from the hospital on her husband and wanted to keep the phone line free.
The news that a man from Arviat, where there are 49 people who have active cases of COVID-19, required a ventilator to help him breathe comes only days after the GN said a handful of Nunavut residents with COVID-19 had been evacuated to a Winnipeg hospital over the previous week.
Dr. Michael Patterson, Nunavut’s chief public health officer, disclosed the medevacs at a Dec. 4 news conference, saying there had been “less than five” patients sent south for health care over the past week.
“We’re not going to discuss numbers and not going to discuss community of origin,” he said then.
When asked about Nunavut residents who may also have contracted COVID-19 in the south, Patterson said the GN was aware of some people in Winnipeg and in other jurisdictions.
“We’re not going to comment beyond that,” Patterson said.
During the GN’s COVID-19 news conference on Monday, Dec. 7, Patterson also declined to provide any information about hospitalized patients unless there are more than five Nunavummiut in southern hospitals.
“There is no public interest in disclosing information at this level in those cases,” said Patterson in reference to Nunavut residents who have been hospitalized for COVID-19.
Later, Chris Puglia, the acting communications manager at the Health Department, said, “The Department of Health is legally bound to patient confidentiality.”
“As Dr. Patterson reiterated at the press conference today, we will not be releasing personal medical information to the public,” Puglia said Monday.
In response to questions about the condition of those who have tested positive for the new coronavirus, the Department of Health has repeatedly said it “does not release personal data, including age, gender or job title.”
The World Health Organization says about one in every five people who are infected with COVID-19 develop difficulty in breathing and may end up on a ventilator.
The devices breathe for the patient with a long plastic tube placed down the throat and into the windpipe.
A ventilator takes over the sedated patient’s breathing process when COVID-19 causes the lungs to fail.
Over the weekend, the GN reported 10 new cases of COVID-19 in Arviat.
Three more were reported Dec. 7.
To date, Nunavut has 216 positive cases of COVID-19, of which 51 are active.